Everything you should know

Sleep apnea in numbers

1 %
Serious Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) cases remain undetected
1 %
Adults between the ages of 30 and 70 have sleep apnea
1 %
Increased risk of heart failure

Learn more about polysomnography

What is polysomnography?

Polysomnography (abbreviated as PSG) is a sleep medicine procedure and is used to diagnose sleep disorders. Among other things, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) often affects overweight patients.

Polysomnography is carried out in a sleep laboratory. Using the data from your sleep recording, an individual sleep profile can be created, which usually enables a precise diagnosis of any sleep disorders. A further sleep study may be necessary to check the success of the therapy.


How do I have to prepare for a PSG?

You can keep almostall of your usual daily routine! Your everyday life should not change too much.You should avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks or foods in the afternoon and evening before your polysomnography. Alcohol and caffeine can change your sleep pattern and make symptoms of some sleep disorders worse. If you take medication every day, please carry on with it as usual.

Please do not take an afternoon nap on the day of the sleep examination. You are usually asked to take a bath or shower before going to bed.

It is important that you do not apply any lotions, gels, skin care products or make-up before the test, as this can affect the application of the electrodes. Please remove nail polish as this can interfere with the function of the finger clip to record the oxygen saturation.

Your doctor has recommended polysomnography if you are suspected of having this syndrome

  • Sleep apnea or other sleep-related breathing disorders. In this state, your breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep.
  • Periodic movements of the limbs during sleep (restless legs syndrome)
  • Narcolepsy. In this state, overwhelming sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep occur during the day.
  • REM sleep disorders. This sleep disorder involves acting out your dreams while sleeping.
  • Unusual sleep behavior.Your doctor may request a sleep test if you engage in unusual activities while you sleep, such as: walking, moving a lot or performing rhythmic movements.
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep (insomnia)

What can I expect?

You come to the sleep center for polysomnography in the evening and spend the night there. You bring your things that you would normally need to use at bedtime: i.e. pajamas, dressing gown, tooth brush etc. If necessary, your medication or cuddly toys.

The polysomnography is performed in a quiet darkened, air conditioned room similar in quality/feel to a hotel room.

The sleeping area is usually equipped with a video camera and an audio system. The medically trained night sleep technician can watch you, speak to you and provide immediate help in an emergency.

We use wireless sensor systems at our sleep centre. Nevertheless, a certain wiring of the patient is necessary to measure and analyze sleep. This may seem daunting at first, but the small, skin-freindly electrodes and cbales will not be noticed after a few minutes. A small clip is also attached to your finger or ear to monitor the level of oxygen in your blood.

After a short de-cable in the morning you are ready to start your nromal day.

What is analyzed during sleep?

With a small PSG, the following parameters are recorded:

  • Brain waves: electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • electrical heart activity: electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood and heart rate oxygen saturation: pulse oximetry (SpO2)
  • Eye movements: electrooculography (EOG) – recording of eye movements; Detection of the REM phases (rapid-eye-movement phases-most dreams take place in this phase)
  • Muscle activity, e.g. legs or masticatory muscles: submental electromyography (EMG)
  • Respiratory flow and breathing movements – Both abdominal (abdominal breathing) and thoracic (breast breathing) breathing movements are measured.
  • Movements and body position
  • Snoring noises
  • Sound monitoring by microphone

In addition to the parameters mentioned above, the following additional measured variables can be monitored for a larger PSG:

  • Blood pressure
  • Erection measurement
  • Body temperature
  • Intrathoracic pressure (chest pressure) – Using an esophageal probe (probe to measure pressure in the esophagus)
  • Mask pressure measurement – used when using a CPAP device for OSAS (breathing aid that generates overpressure and thus counteracts a narrowing of the airways).

What Happens After Polysomnography?

You dont ned to do anything special after the PSG test. You can return to your usual daily activities. In the morning, the sensors are removed and you can leave the sleep center. You should make an appointment for a follow-up appointment with your doctor shortly thereafter.

Depending on the results of the examination, medicinal or other therapeutic measures maybe prescribed or suggested. In the unlikely event of an incorrect or poor sleep analysis a new sleep study may have to be carried out.

In most cases, organic malfunctions or anatomical conditions are the cause a restless nights sleep. The sleep center at the Sonnenstuhl offers a wide range of therapy options for those affected, which guarantees that treatment planning can be completely individual.

Will the health insurance cover the polysomnography?

Many affected people quickly ask themselves who has to pay for the cost of polysomnography in the sleep center at the Sonnenstuhl in Randersacker. Here it is important to take away the worries right away, because a night examination in the sleep laboratory in the form of a polysomnography is covered by the health insurance companies. This applies to both privately insured and legally insured patients. In the case of those insured by law, only a polygraphy, i.e. a nightly outpatient screening, has to be carried out.



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Am Sonnenstuhl 65 97236 Randersacker / Würzburg